A Word About the Passing of Pat Robertson

Or “How to Piss Off a Priest of Dionysos”

Normally, I don’t spend a lot of time pissing on people’s graves (or in them, if they haven’t yet been covered up). When someone nasty has passed on, it’s usually enough to breathe a sigh of relief, or maybe allow oneself a small dollop of satisfaction. However, I’m going to make an exception in this case, for few men in the late 20th or early 21st centuries have had such a profoundly negative impact on the lives of LGBTQ people, that is to say my people, as Pat Robertson did.

Marion Gordon “Pat” Robertson spent the better part of the last 40 years going out of his way to destroy the lives of LGBTQ people. He didn’t do this alone, to be sure. He had help in his efforts from, amongst others, the likes of Jerry Falwell, another odious creature that the world does not miss with his absence. The reach of Robertson’s influence into the halls of power was aided in no small part by the media empire he built on cable television. His efforts led to the capture of the Republican Party by evangelical christianity, which in turn held back progress on LGBTQ civil rights for the better part of 30 years. And this influence continues to threaten our rights, and our very existence, to this very day.

I could go on and on about the negative impact that Robertson and his ilk have inflicted upon society, but others such as the good folks at Electoral Vote beat me to the punch (below).

“When a person dies, the obits often highlight the good and downplay the not-so-good. As we have made clear in the past (here, for example) we do not feel constrained by that convention. And so, we present readers with a (very) select list of the lowlights of Robertson’s career:

  • He blamed the 9/11 attacks on feminists, LGBTQ Americans, abortion doctors and the ACLU.
  • He suggested the 2010 earthquake in Haiti was divine retribution for the slave rebellion of 1791.
  • He said that anyone who opposes Donald Trump is in rebellion against God’s plan.
  • He declared that the Las Vegas shootings were due to the kneeling National Anthem protests.
  • He said Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for Roe v. Wade.
  • He encouraged the government to assassinate “leftist” leaders of foreign countries, such as Hugo Chávez.
  • He opined that tornadoes that hit Florida are meant to punish Disney for flying rainbow flags.
  • He wrote a book implying the Jews are secretly running the world.
  • He decreed that Planned Parenthood encourages adultery, bestiality, and lesbianism.
  • He labeled Hinduism as “demonic” and Islam as “Satanic.”

“If you can find anything on that list that is Christ-like, then you are a better theologian than we are. This is why we describe Robertson as a “Christian” than as a Christian. In 1 Corinthians, St. Paul observed that the most important qualities to embody, following Jesus’ example, are “faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” We suppose that Robertson had faith, in an Old Testament sort of way, but he offered little in the way of hope, and he certainly didn’t have much love for people who did not think exactly as he did. These sorts of nasty and bigoted statements were not exceptions to the rule for him, they were the rule.”

From the Electoral Vote website

So perhaps, gentle reader, you can understand how many in the LGBTQ community greeted Robertson’s passing with the same joy as the departure of an unwelcome guest might bring, and why the following meme was making its rounds on LGBTQ websites and profiles yesterday.

This has enraged some on the christian right, who seem to think that Robertson’s victims owe his corpus a modicum of respect that he never, ever felt the need to bestow upon them while alive. It’s understandable that they would think that way, seeing as many of them are the same kind of hypocrites, Pharisees, and anti Christs that the Bible warns us about. Indeed, most of these people can’t be bothered to loan a beggar their coat because they’re too busy turning it inside out and upside down to fit a given position designed to net them ever more money and power.

I’m not a christian, I’m an Orphic Hellenist. But I’ve had christianity shoved down my throat for the better part of 65 years, so I think that I can spot a christian poseur from a mile away. And the current incarnation of the Republican Party is riddled with them much like a termite mound.

In His incarnation as Ἐλευθέριος, Dionysos is the Emancipator – the One Who delivers mankind from injustice and servitude. In short, He delivers us from the likes of Robertson and his ilk. But, unlike those people, I don’t feel the need to shove words into the mouth of Dionysos. I’m fully capable of speaking my own mind. And so, I leave you with some final thoughts on Robertson’s life, while I go off to pour the first drops of wine to Hades in sympathy that Pat is now His problem. If it’s any consolation, Tartaros has plenty of room.

Here’s hoping that Leonard Cohen will someday forgive me.

Live such that people rejoice in your life rather than celebrate its ending.

— Να εχεις μια ωραια μερα. —

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